We may see “Old Man Rick” in the 100th episode of The Walking Dead, which will also be the Season 8 premiere. The clearly older, grey-haired Rick was seen in the final moments of the explosive trailer shown at San Diego Comic-Con in July, immediately sparking several theories from fans.
The most common theory is that this scene, dubbed ‘Old Man Rick’, is tied to a time jump which takes place in the comics. But that wasn’t the only idea fans had.
Some people believe that the scene shows Rick waking up from the coma he found himself in during the very first episode and that the apocalypse was all a dream.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Scott Gimple has stated that the dream theory is, quite simply, a load of rubbish.
“I can say that that is not him waking up from the coma in the hospital,” Gimple said. “Some people thought that, and it’s not that.”
Indeed, it looks as though Old Man Rick is genuinely a time jump, as exec Greg Nicotero explained.
So it sounds like while we’ll get our first taste of Old Man Rick in the season 8 premiere, the midseason finale (or around that time) could be a time when full answers will be delivered — although Nicotero may offer up a clue with his comments.
We may not know exactly what Old Man Rick is all about, but there are a few things we do know already about The Walking Dead season 8. We know Carol will be in full-on destruction mode after reuniting with Daryl – and we know Maggie’s baby won’t be coming. Negan and the Saviors are headed into all-out war with Rick, the Alexandrians and the Kingdom, and we can expect lots of zombie-related mayhem along the way.
The Walking Dead returns Sunday Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.